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Licensed Unlicensed Requires Authentication Published by De Gruyter July 3, 2015

Principle-Based Design: A Methodology and Principles for Capitalizing Design Experiences for Information Quality Assurance

Nitesh Bharosa and Marijn Janssen


We know that information quality affects the performance of relief agencies during emergency management processes. Yet, recent studies keep revealing that relief workers faced information quality challenges during emergencies. While this can be partly attributed to the fragmented nature of the incompatible information systems that were designed from a single-agency perspective in order to support routine processes, there is a desperate need for overarching architecture principles that allow for the support of non-routine, interagency information needs. Principles are defined as normative, reusable and directive statements that guide architects in designing the capabilities needed to achieve overarching goals. This study presents a methodology for extracting such principles for information systems that can be employed for emergency management processes. Based on literature review, case surveys, interviews with architects and qualitative analysis, 12 principles are proposed for information quality assurance. Architects working at relief agencies can adopt these principles to redesign information systems in order to assure information quality from an interagency perspective. Due to the absence of an interagency system governing body, the main challenge lies in promoting and monitoring the adoption of such principles across relief agencies.

Corresponding author: Nitesh Bharosa, Delft University of Technology – Faculty of Technology, Policy & Management, ICT Department, Delft, The Netherlands, e-mail:

Appendix: Interviewees and Interview Protocol

The following Table 4 provides an overview of the interviewed information system architects. Only their first names are mentioned to ensure anonymity.

Table 4

Overview of Respondents.

1WimPoliceFormer police squad commander, current head of the interagency emergency management training department
2AntonRotterdam Port AuthorityEmergency control room systems, communication technologies
3PeterGeo-technology providerGeographic information technologies for emergency management
4DaanPort AuthorityPort-officer squad commander
5LeoMinistry of Internal Affairs and Kingdom Relations, Department of Safety and Crisis ManagementDevelopment and implementation of advanced emergency management technologies, Network Centric Operations expert
6RalphChemical servicesChemical materials, codes, standards and technologies.
7VincentFire departmentFire squad manager, information management
8TonAmbulance ServicesAmbulance tracking systems, victim monitoring systems
9Willem-JanFire departmentICT support, organizational information-sharing
10MartijnHazmat servicesHazardous materials registration, risk communication and data sharing
11SanderPoliceInformation architectures, application manager
12MarkAmbulanceInformation management
13LeoPoliceICT architect, registration systems
14MarcelFire departmentInformation management
15KeesInfrastructure servicesInformation system displays, communication systems architect
16Jan-WillemApplication providerEmergency response systems, service-oriented architectures

The interviews were conducted using a semi-structured interview protocol, which included the following category of topics and examples of questions. The respondents were requested to consider their response from the perspective of their own organization and from an interagency perspective.

  1. Information quality dimensions and problems during interagency emergency management.

    1. Are you familiar with information quality dimensions?

    2. Do you recognize some of these problems <short-list table 2>

    3. Can you give other examples of information-related problems

  2. Current information systems

    1. What kind of information systems do you operate or design?

    2. How do the current information systems perform in terms of information quality during routine operations? And during interagency emergency management?

  3. Principles and best practices

    1. Is assuring information quality one of your priorities?

    2. How do you address information quality problems? <based on the short-list provided in table 2>

    3. Are there any principles or guidelines you use for assuring information quality?

    4. Can you give any examples of solutions or best practices?

    5. Can you recommend any best practices?


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Published Online: 2015-7-3
Published in Print: 2015-9-1

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